Café Science-Politique : the New-Caledonian referendum
New Caledonia is at a crossroads for its political future, and an increasing number of questions are emerging as we approach the end of the period of the Noumea agreement. At the dawn of a referendum of self-determination, which should take place this November, we can question who are the actors of the political transition? How will it be organized? On which time-scale will it happen? And so many more questions…
Guest speaker: Dr. Carine David, lecturer in public law from the University of New Caledonia, will share her reflections on the transition happening in New Caledonia
After the presentation, Carine was joined by a panel discussion and Q&A in a café-style atmosphere around a cheese platter
Panelists: A/Prof Asmi Wood (ANU College of Law), Denise Fisher (ANU Centre for European Studies & former diplomat), Noel Derwort (former RAAF Air Commodore)
Tuesday, 12th of June 4.30-6.00pm
ANU Centre for European Studies, 1 Liversidge St, Acton
This event was the occasion to remind us of New-Caledonia history within France. First a French colony (1853-1946), it became an Oversea Territory (1946-1998) with different status and variable autonomy, which triggered independance revendications from the indigene population: the Kanaks. Then, after two agreements, the Matignon agreement (1988-1998) and the Noumea agreement (1998-today), New-Caledonia will answer the question to know if it wants to access to full sovereignty and independance… or not!
The process might include up to three referendum, the first should take place on the 4th of November 2018. A YES to independance would lead to a constituent process, and negociation with France, a NO would lead to another referendum in 2020, or to negociations for a new status within France. Same process for the 2020 referendum.
Ms Carine David explained her feeling that the population is unprepared for this referendum, and unprepared for the day after the referendum if New Caledonia votes for its independance. The population’s participation in the process is limited. The panel shared their view on this unprecedented electoral process, its meaning for the New-Caledonian population, and its impact on their political future.
The people of New Caledonia still have to find a way to a common future, where their culture and their way of life can assert, their common values can be defined, and their economy secured…